WASHINGTON – Jámison Olave has scored three goals this season. D.C. United have scored two.
And after being shut out at home by the New York Red Bulls on Saturday – 2-0 in a match where Olave and Thierry Henry scored – en route to the club’s third straight loss, United coach Ben Olsen was left searching for answers regarding a team that has four points through six matches.
“At this point, we’ve got to fix something,” Olsen said after the game. “I don’t know if we have to look within the league, I don’t know if we’ve got to make a trade. It’s stuff we’ve got to figure out.”
The starting forward pairing of Lionard Pajoy and Rafael generated two shots (one on goal) before Rafael was subbed off at halftime for captain Dwayne De Rosario, who missed last week’s match with an adductor strain.
De Rosario’s addition helped United create more opportunities, including arguably D.C.’s best of the game on his 71st-minute free kick from just outside the box, but it was still a relatively lackluster night for a club that already has lost more games at RFK Stadium than it did all of last season.
“We’re easy to play against from a defensive side and an offensive side,” Olsen said. “Are we dynamic enough? We’re pretty predictable in the way we go about things. That’s just who we are right now. We’ve got to stay together and dig our way out of it. That’s what we need to be focused on right now.”
After scoring 12 goals last season, midfielder Chris Pontius has yet to score this year and is drawing plenty of attention from opposing defenses.
“We’ve got to figure something out,” Pontius said. “We can’t keep playing this game of trying to keep shutouts all the time. We are going to give up goals throughout the season. We need to be able to put some away to take some pressure off our defense.”
While Olsen said he wasn’t in the mood for excuses, he did point out the difficultly of D.C.’s early-season schedule. So far, United’s five opponents (Columbus, Houston, Kansas City, Real Salt Lake and New York twice) have totaled 44 points and all are expected to be serious playoff contenders.
Then again, so are D.C.
“It’s time to stop looking for excuses and start getting the job done,” Olsen said. “If we can’t, again, I’ll make some moves because we’ve got to get better. We can’t continue down this path.”